The Rose and the Thistle By Laura Frantz

Ms. Frantz makes history more than dates and battles.  When reading her books I always learn about a new era in history that I was not familiar with.  Her characters not only make history come alive, but give me a deeper understanding as to what it was like to be live during that time.  Her descriptiveness of their surroundings, traditions and way of life allow me to be a part of what is happening.

The setting is Scotland the year 1715. It was a year of great upheaval and danger between the Catholics and Protestants (Jacobite’s).

Duke of Northumberland was a devout Catholic as was his daughter Lady Blythe.  This made him an enemy of the king.  Knowing the danger, his number one desire was to protect his daughter Lady Blythe.  He arranged with her godfather, Lord Wedderburn for her to take refuge with him and his family.  It is shortly before Lord Wedderburn dies that his son Everard and succeeding laird learns of this arrangement.  His family was loyal to their Protestant faith.  A bit of a sticky wicket!

He wasn’t very pleased with the news but didn’t have time to ponder it.  His father hadn’t even been buried and late one night Lady Blythe was rushed to the castle after an attack on their estate. Talk about an awkward situation!  They couldn’t have had more opposite religious or political positions!

I hurt for Lady Blythe being thrust into a place where she really wasn’t wanted without anything of her own.  I also understood his confusion, stress and frustration of losing his father and dealing with a guest whose presence could be dangerous for their family.

Lady Blythe won my heart with her independence, sweet spirit and humility despite her position, education and wealth.  I was fascinated by their day to day life, and how the affluent were cared for..  Almost as if they were children in ways. I cannot imagine how boring her days were as there wasn’t a lot to do even when she was at home.

At first Everard irritated me with his attitude.  Then I saw how overwhelmed he was about all that had occurred so quickly in his life. His responsibilities were crushing.  I soon was endeared to him as he proved to have a tender heart and a strong sense of integrity.  

I found it beautiful how their love unfolded and developed despite all the obstacles they faced.  I liked the fact despite their different faiths, they shared a love of God, a strong reliance on the Lord and prayer.   Difficult family relations, fear, danger and seemly impossible circumstances confronted the couple.  The suspense and surprises along the way heightened made the story even more enjoyable and hard to put down.  A book you will want to read!

I received this book from LibraryThing and Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions stated are my own.